Debbie and Blair Andrew are an animal and people loving couple from Carlyle that own a dog boarding facility in the Carlyle area.
This facility is a place where people can feel assured that their animals will be loved and cared for just as if it were in their own homes. The couple moved to Carlyle in March 2001 with Blair's work and their three children.
“We are close knit. Family is super important to me because I was an only child from a split family with lots of dysfunction. My passion has always been to love others although I never fully grasped that until a few years ago. I think I was created to 'mother'. I love caring for people, animals and things. I will never be free from dysfunction but love covers all of that,” Andrew explains.
When asked what brought them to the decision to open a dog boarding facility, they explained that they had had quite a few bad experiences in the industry with their dogs coming home, looking and acting different.
“My husband Blair and I have always loved animals and have experienced deep connections with our dogs over the years. We also made some very bad choices with our dogs that created an outcome or behaviour we never wanted or expected. Our dream for years has been to be able to take our dogs to a place where people would love and care for them like we did at home,” Deb explains.
It is because of this that they decided to open their boarding facility.
“When Blair resigned after 30 years as an insurance broker, starting his own business in this field seemed so logical to his entrepreneur brain and my love for animals and love of research set it all in motion,” Deb Andrew said.
They opened their doors on Dec. 1, 2018. The couple states that the last two years have been great for them. At first they ran the facility alone but then added their daughter Nicole and a many other youths and adults over the course of the business's lifetime.
“This is definitely not a job for everyone and we have been so blessed to have many come and use their love of dogs to come work with us. COVID-19 really tried to put a wrench into things for us but if we are truly honest, it has given us a chance to slow down and re-evaluate how we do things in relation to our why!
“It was super frustrating to have to lay off staff when we didn't know if we were able to stay open, how long we would be closed or any details about the virus. Looking back, we can see how it all worked out for those who moved to other jobs at that time and how we were able to regroup.”
The Dog Lodge offers overnight boarding services and the odd bath for the dogs that actually enjoy baths. The purpose of the lodge is to have the dogs actually enjoy going to the facility and feel loved and cared for when they do go.